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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've made a few arrows wth natural feathers and they turned out OK without too much work needing to be done on the quills. I've just acquired a batch of really nice mature Goose feathers, but they've come with pretty big bulky quills.
So, I'd lke to ask our resident arrow making gurus if they'd be willing to share their quill grinding techniques. Pictures would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation
 
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I made a jig from instructions at Dean Troges' website. You'll need an inexpensive drillpress, a 3" drum sander, and of course, the jig. Here's the link to the website with instructions for making the jig, etc.

http://www.bowyersedge.com/feather.html

If I had it to do over, I'd just buy the Great Northern feather-processing jig. You can make professional quality feathers in no time. Here's a link to 3-Rivers offering, and a video of the process.

http://www.3riversarchery.com/Great+Northern+Feather+Processing+Jig_i5046_baseitem.html
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's what I'm looking for ...

Thanks a lot Jim .... much appreciated
 

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Jim
Have you tried the great northern system?
I've made a jig and a clamp jig, it gets the job done but for every feather I successfully grind I destroy 3. Not good odds but if the GN system works every time it would be worth the cost in my book.

Thanks
Chad
 

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No sir, I haven't tried one, but the one I made was actually patterned off of it. I read Mr. Torges' instructions and then, made my jig off a picture of the Great Northern. I got lucky, and it works great. It doesn't eat my feathers, and I'm sure the commercial model would be much better.

Here's a picture of the one I made:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jim
... do you know if the Great Northern jig allows you to grind the width of the quill as well as the depth?
 

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Yes it does. You grind the bottom first. Usually a couple passes is all you need, then turn the jig on its side to grind the side of the quill.

One thing I've found. In the 3-Rivers video they recommend using a utility knife to initially trim the quill. It works fine if your quill is green and is holding a lot of moisture content, but once it dries, it's difficult to cut cleanly sometimes. A nipper works very well with dry, old gobbler primary feathers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again Jim
for clean cutting older drier quills I use a set of professional podiatric nail clippers a Podiatrist friend gave me .. they cut beautfully
 

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I think I do it considerably simpler… I bought a couple cheap aluminum 12" rulers and already had a couple spring clamps… Clamp the feather between the rulers and then turn on my random orbital sander and get to reducing the quill. It's fast and cheap (if ya have the sander, which I already did)

Tom
 
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